Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is in the middle of this fourth season with the Bears, and the results have been mixed thus far. With the recent departure of offensive lineman Chris Williams, the discussion around former general manager Jerry Angelo’s first round picks has been a hot topic in Chicago. Angelo’s best move with the first round picks was probably trading multiple ones to acquire Cutler.
In Cutler’s first year, he threw for 3,666 yards with 27 touchdowns and 26 interceptions. It was a surprising realization for Bears fans, who were expecting the quarterback who threw for 4,526 yards in his previous year with Denver, and also turned the ball over a lot less. It was still a breath of fresh air in Chicago, as the talent Cutler showed at times was much more than any quarterback in recent and distant memory.
The following season, the interceptions were down, but Cutler fumbled 10 times including six in which he lost. With his 23 touchdowns, he also had 22 turnovers. After last season was cut short, Cutler now stands with five games under his belt in the 2012 season. He is on pace to bypass his 3,666 yards in his first season with the Bears, but he has seven interceptions with seven touchdowns. His 1:1 touchdown to interception ratio was one that Bears fans had hoped would improve over his time in Chicago, but it doesn’t look as if it has.
What is different this season is that Cutler has weapons around him in which should help him improve his numbers, including Brandon Marshall, who Cutler lobbied for in the offseason. Marshall has been targeted 56 times through five games, and Cutler isn’t shy about making it known that he will continue to go to him.
Cutler’s current completion percentage (57.7%) this season is also lower than any of his three previous seasons with the Bears. This again was not something that was expected considering Cutler has at least two receivers who are legit NFL wide receivers. One reason for this drop off could be because of the injury to Matt Forte, a reliable running back out of the backfield who has good hands and was often a solid checkdown option for Cutler.
On top of all this, Cutler has been the focus of national media for foolish things such as how they perceive his body language, or his waving off of offensive coordinator Mike Tice, who were later seen together on the sidelines.
Cutler wears his emotions on his sleeve, for better or worse. His “gunslinger” style of play is something he will always live and die with. But the talent is there for him to lead a team. But talent alone will not win a Super Bowl, and somewhere, Cutler needs to find it in him to be the offensive leader that the Bears will need to reach higher achievements. The Bears have gone 4-1 so far this year without stellar offensive play. That isn’t going to continue, and Cutler can’t afford for it not to.
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